Prepared for Emergency: Resources for Churches

After the terrible tragedy in Texas last week, many of our churches are considering how they can best prepare for an emergency in their community or congregation and how United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence. Below are some of the resources available to clergy, trustees committees, church leaders, and others on this topic. 

United Methodist Resources

A Word from Bishop Graves after the Texas Shooting
http://www.awfumc.org/newsdetail/a-word-from-bishop-graves-church-shooting-9889840

A Reflection from Dr. Darren McClellan
http://www.awfumc.org/newsdetail/a-reflection-from-dr-darren-mcclellan-9909501

AWF Trustees Church Emergency Guidelines
http://www.awfumc.org/files/mcp_files/church+emergency+plan.pdf

Embracing Love: A Prayer for Texas (UMCOM)
http://www.umcom.org/topics/embracing-love-responding-to-violence 

Keeping Churches Safe and Welcoming (Video) 
http://www.umc.org/how-we-serve/keeping-churches-safe-and-welcoming

Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence (UMC.org)
http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/ways-united-methodists-can-take-a-stand-against-gun-violence

Book of Resolutions: Our Call to End Gun Violence 
http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/gun-violence 

Services and Liturgies for Times of Crisis (Discipleship Ministries) 
https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/worship/services-liturgies?group=41&limit=30&cat=600&sortBy=resource_date%7Cdate&sortDirection=desc

Ecumenical and External Articles

Why Church Shootings Don’t Intimidate the Church (The Washington Post)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/11/06/why-church-shootings-dont-intimidate-the-church/?utm_term=.4c18733e6e57

FEMA Protecting Your House of Worship (fema.gov)
https://www.fema.gov/faith-resources 

Tip Sheet from the National Disaster Interfaith Network (N-DIN.org) 
http://www.n-din.org/ndin_resources/tipsheets_v1208/07_NDIN_TS_ActiveShooter.pdf

Thom Rainer: How Your Church Should Prepare for an Active Shooter (thomrainer.com)
http://thomrainer.com/2017/11/church-prepare-active-shooter/

Churches and Gun Violence: 7 Practical Preparation Tips
http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/8520/churches-and-gun-violence-7-practical-preparation-tips

The Doors of the Church are Still Open-a Litany from the AME Church
https://www.ame-church.com/news/the-doors-of-the-church-are-still-open/​

Three Steps toward Preparedness

1. Participate in Connecting Neighbors training and become prepared for disasters. The Conference has a full curriculum for this training opportunity. 

2. Contact your local Emergency Management and law enforcement for guidance and training in active shooter/emergency policies. Most local law enforcement agencies will help with a local church security audit leading to a plan that can be broadened and followed by ushers, staff, trustees, preschool leaders, and church members.

3. Keep open lines of communication with local authorities as your plans are developed. Partner with EMA and other local agencies when situations arise that call for shelter, food, and ministry.